Sat07222017

Last updateWed, 12 Jul 2017 2am

Ask the Experts

Defenseless Driving

I had a close call driving and texting. Did everyone else already learn this lesson?


Your question received lots of press over the past few years. We expect that students already learned this lesson.

A University study by Dr. Tamyra Pierce was released back in 2010. Observing 2,582 drivers on the highway, the study noted over 17% were distracted by some other activity.

Seven years later, in 2017, U.S. traffic deaths continue to increase year-over-year. This is counterintuitive, since vehicles have become safer over time. Unfortunately, driving distractions have increased for 18- to 29-year-old drivers. In the Empire State, there has been an 840% increase in texting-while-driving tickets issued.

According to auto-accident lawyer Edward Smith, smartphones and apps have become both more prevalent and more distracting. In his article about texting and distracted driving accidents, Mr. Smith points out that thousands of people are killed every year by distracted drivers.

If you are tempted to look at your phone while driving, understand you are not alone. Scientific studies actually show the phone jingles we hear induce the release of chemicals into the brain. Those sounds make users feel rewarded, while not responding creates anxiety.

An iPhone app called Passenger Mobile, gives people points for not texting and driving. There are a few more popular apps, says Smith. In a recent article about apps to prevent distracted driving, Smith highlights apps DriveOFF, DriveMode, and DriveScribe.

It seems a simpler, childish solution to just turn off your phone while driving. Yes, using your phone while driving is childish behavior. Be safe.

Jacob Maslow is the founder and editor of Legal Scoops.

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